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Google innovation strategy: How idea capture led to the development of Google News?

Google News is a news aggregator platform that was developed by Google in 2002. It displays a never-ending stream of links of content organized from thousands of publications and periodicals. Google News is accessible on Android, iOS, and the Google News website. In September 2002, Google published a beta version, followed by the app version in January 2006.

The Idea and Implementation

Krishna Bharat, a Google research scientist, started Google News in 2002. This initiative was partially a reaction to the US media broadcast provided by the American media in the aftermath of 9/11. Krishna Bharat was monitoring the latest information from different news sources on the aftereffects of the 9/11 attacks. He had the intention of developing a technology that could scan and analyze multiple news websites. Google expanded on his concept to create a full-fledged news service, which is today known as Google News.

Google news came up as a very successful idea for the company. As of 2020, it was the largest news aggregator in the world. It is currently published in approximately 35 languages. 

According to Krishna Bharat, Founder of Google News, “It was in response to September 11 [terrorist attacks]. I was reading news from a bunch of papers all over the web. And I discovered that there was no efficient way to find coverage of the same topic from different sources. To find the same coverage about the Taliban I would have to go to the L.A. Times site and [go to all these sites]. It seemed fundamentally inefficient. That’s not the way the web was supposed to work. The web was supposed to have a link structure that helped you find content.

Part of the problem is that all of this news was fresh. By definition, news is fresh and doesn’t have links. And if Google is to fulfill its mission to find information efficiently, it occurred to me that what I was doing a computer could do. A computer could, in fact, visit all these websites, find the same article, or similar articles, and group them together. I tried it, and it worked.”

Google was quick to capture the idea and the company makes a sizable revenue with its earlier launched(in 2018)”Subscribe with Google” feature. Ideas like these can open up new business opportunities and market segments for organizations, only if CXOs are able to quickly capture and deploy these ideas. Some of these ideas can be brewing in your organization too. An idea management tool like Inspire IP can help you discover them.  Get your hands on the free version today!

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